We will see the Garmin Instinct in 2020, my guess would be Q2/Q3 (or 8 July). Despite the merits of the aesthetics of the original Garmin Instinct (reviewed here), it sells well. Thus, it’s no longer surprising that we are seeing Garmin iterate a new version to this popular product only a year or so after the initial launch of the first version.
We’ve known about the existence of the Instinct Instinct Solar for a several months eg it’s listed in my monthly post of ‘every GPS device known to mankind‘
It does now have the new generation of Garmin’s ELEVATE HR sensor, which makes sense as the Instinct was one of the last devices to have been released with the old sensor type. This new sensor also will bring with it the addition of Pulse Ox and I’ve had it confirmed that we will also see the Instinct’s existing swim features boosted by the oHR being enabled whilst pool/ows swimming – but do NOT expect support for your caching HR strap (HRM-TRI, etc).
Even more excitingly, there are increases to the existing battery life which I initially thought was from the addition of the Sony GPS chip (that’s already almost certainly in the original Instinct) but which are instead from some of the battery tech being rolled down from the Fenix 6, coupled with the addition of SOLAR charging which should add at least a further 10% to all the battery life claims, or at least it will if the sun is shining. In fact, it gives this
— Up To 24 Days/ 54 Days With Solar
— Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up To 56 Days/ Unlimited With Solar
— GPS: Up To 30 Hours/ 38 Hours With Solar
— Max. Battery GPS Mode: Up To 70 Hours/ 145 Hours With Solar
— Expedition GPS Activity: Up To 28 Days/ 68 Days With Solar
IIRC the Fenix Solar ‘only’ benefitted from an extra 10% of battery life with the SOLAR but here the INSTINCT seems to add at least 25% in ideal conditions, which means in ‘less than ideal conditions’ some meaningful amounts of juice could still be recharged.
Along with the Solar capability will come several minor new screens such as those which indicate the amount of charging that has been gained today.
Perhaps the more major changes linked to Solar will be the addition of new battery management tech which will be needed to achieve the impressively long battery lives that are quoted.
If you remember there was also an Instinct 1 Tactical, it looks like the (limited) tactical functionality from that will also be in the Instinct Solar ie the Solar version is the top-end Instinct with everything in it.
Everything also includes surf and swim profiles, although they are limited in features compared to parallel ones on the Fenix.
via acoustic biker, with thanks
Here’s the Reddit source for the SOLAR info
There is clearly a market for an outdoors watch that is like a Garmin Fenix…but cheaper. Casio is sniffing around in the space with the WSD-F20 and WSD-F30 but they are coming in too high on price despite having an offering that is different and nuanced from what Garmin offers. Suunto too have tried with the Suunto 7 which is a great and beautiful product but perhaps too expensive for the battery limitations of Wear OS. Coros are there too with perhaps the closest of the contenders for hardware+software that’s similar to the Fenix.
One consequence of the new Instinct Solar is prices of the original Garmin Instinct falling to around and below £/$/Eu200. Which is probably about right for that product but the Instinct Solar is coming in at a hefty £349.99…ouch. That’s a lot of money for a lot of uniquely appreciated looks
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